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US troops hurt in Syria artillery attack

A convoy of U.S. Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (M-RAP) vehicles patrols in the Deir ez-Zor province, Syria. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Crane)
April 07, 2022

A base hosting U.S. troops in Syria came under artillery fire on Thursday morning, resulting in injuries to at least four U.S. service members.

According to officials with Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) — the name for the U.S.-led military coalition to counter ISIS in Iraq and Syria — two rounds of artillery fire hit a coalition base called Green Village, the Associated Press reported.

OIR officials initially told the Associated Press that two U.S. service members were lightly injured in the attack. OIR later released a more detailed statement, assessing four U.S. servicemembers were being evaluated for minor injuries as well as possible traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

The exact extent of the injuries sustained by the artillery attack was unclear, but OIR officials previously told the Associated Press that at least two U.S. service members were treated and returned to duty Thursday morning.

OIR officials told the Associated Press that Thursday’s attack also ignited two fires which were easily put out.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the Thursday attack on Green Village.

The United Kingdom-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five rockets fired during Thursday’s attack came from an area where Iran-backed militia fighters are based.

Iran-backed forces have been involved in efforts to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria. They have also supported Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

The attack is the first in Syria’s eastern Deir el-Zour province since January when Green Village came under eight rounds of rocket artillery fire. OIR officials said the January attack did not cause any casualties, “but several rounds impacted inside the Coalition base and caused minor damage.” U.S. forces reportedly determined the site of the rocket launches and “fired six rounds of artillery towards the point of origin of the attack.”

OIR officials attributed the January attack to “Iran-supported malign actors.” The January attack on Green Village also came amid a string of other attacks from Iran-linked groups in Syria and Iraq, coinciding with the two-year anniversary of the U.S. strike that killed Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) Gen. Qassem Soleimani while he was visiting Baghdad, Iraq.

Two explosives-laden drones were also shot down in January by a U.S. air defense system near the Baghdad airport. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but written on the wings of one of the downed drones were the words “Leader’s revenge” and “Soleimani’s revenge.”

As of January, there were an estimated 700 U.S. troops still in Syria.

This article has been updated with additional information provided by Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).